on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
International Conference on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
June 18–20, 1999
National Taiwan University, Taipei, TAIWAN
We are 220 participants from around the world, including representatives of the Aboriginal Peoples of Taiwan, the Ainu of Japan, the Khoi-Khoi of South Africa, the Maori of Aotearoa-New Zealand, the Dusun People of Malaysia, the Mohawk of Canada, and other participants from Australia, Canada, Japan, France, the United States and Taiwan. After three days of interactive discussion of various issues related to land rights, resources, cultural rights and international law concerning Indigenous Peoples, we hereby declare as follows:
That we reaffirm the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. We declare to respect the rights of all peoples as declared in Article 1.2 of the Charter of the United Nations which reads as follows;
"To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace".
Land and Resource Rights
1. States shall recognize the right of Indigenous Peoples to own, use and control the development of their lands, territories, waters and other resources. States shall adopt appropriate laws and other measures to effectively protect and retain the ownership, use and control of Indigenous Peoples lands, territories, waters and other resources. Furthermore, States shall facilitate the restitution of lands, territories, waters and other resources confiscated, taken or used without their informed consent.
2. States shall respect the laws, customs and traditional land-tenure systems of Indigenous Peoples, abide by the principle of sustainable development, and prohibit all development affecting Indigenous Peoples and their territories which is undertaken without their informed consent.
3. We affirm that Indigenous Peoples are affected by development and therefore Indigenous Peoples have a right to be consulted and to all decision-making concerning all development which affects Indigenous Peoples.
4. We declare that whenever development, including mining, fishing, agriculture, tourism or any other activity is proposed in either the territories of Indigenous Peoples, or other territories which affect Indigenous Peoples, the State and any other relevant authorities shall consult with local Indigenous Peoples concerned in order to gain their informed consent. States shall prevent any harm to Indigenous Peoples interests, and ensure that Indigenous Peoples benefit equitably from any proceeds therefrom.
5. Indigenous Peoples shall have the right to sustainable maintenance of the total environment and also the productive capacity of their territories, and to control their own processes of development. The State shall take effective measures to prevent storage or disposal of all harmful materials including nuclear waste on territories of Indigenous Peoples and territories affecting Indigenous Peoples.
6. Indigenous Peoples shall be provided with conditions allowing for sustainable economic, social and cultural development compatible with their distinct development and communal practices.
1. The cultures of Indigenous Peoples form a valuable and intrinsic part of the diversity of all humanity's cultures. The cultures of Indigenous Peoples are vulnerable to external influences and forces. The dignity, beliefs and values of Indigenous Peoples' cultures shall be given respect and appropriate protective measures implemented.
2. Indigenous Peoples shall have the right to enjoy their own cultures, to practice their own beliefs and religions, and to use their own languages. The enjoyment of such rights shall be protected and facilitated by national laws and other measures, devised and implemented in consultation with the representative institutions of the Indigenous Peoples concerned. No decisions relating to the rights and interests of Indigenous Peoples shall be taken without their informed consent.
3. Indigenous Peoples shall have the right to own, protect and control the development of their cultural heritage, including biological and human genetic material, which constitutes their shared estate. Each State shall adopt legislative and other measures to recognize and ensure that Indigenous Peoples can protect their cultural heritage, including their technologies and cultural manifestations. No individual or enterprise shall be allowed to acquire an interest in indigenous cultural heritage, for example through patents, copyrights, or other intellectual property right laws without the informed consent of Indigenous Peoples and their communities.
4. States shall provide financial and other resources so that Indigenous Peoples can establish and administer independent "Trust Funds" in order to protect and assert their collective rights. Such Funds shall be controlled by Indigenous Peoples, and income arising therefrom shall be applied by Indigenous Peoples in the pursuit of their self-determination and their economic, social and cultural development.
1. We declare Indigenous Peoples have the right to freely determine their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development. We call on the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the "Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" as soon as possible in its present form. During the on-going International Decade for the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we call on the United Nations to establish a "Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples", to address the rights of Indigenous Peoples at the highest level within the UN system. All Indigenous Peoples shall have the right to attend the Permanent Forum, WGIP, and other International fora. The United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples shall guide all legislation and matters concerning the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
2. We call on the international community to elaborate a set of international Conventions to protect the lands, territories, waters and other resources of Indigenous Peoples from exploitation or degradation (including as military bases, military exercise fields, nuclear waste dumps or nuclear testing sites). We wish these international standards to protect Indigenous Peoples' rights, and to facilitate the restitution to Indigenous Peoples of lands, territories waters and other resources confiscated or taken and used without their informed consent and to ensure appropriate compensation measures are taken to remedy the breaches of the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
3. Indigenous Peoples shall have the right to access those Courts, including the International Court of Justice, Tribunals and other legal institutions to take concerns and matters regarding their rights.
4. We call on the international community to faithfully respect the Indigenous Peoples’ demand that their cultural heritage be recognized as collective rights. Each State shall institute and enforce laws to protect these rights.
5. We call on the United Nations to establish an "International Trust Fund for Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Heritage" to facilitate the promotion and protection of the Cultural Heritage of Indigenous Peoples by Indigenous Peoples.
6. Adopted by unanimous consent of the International Conference on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at Taipei.
OFFICIAL DOCUMENT. TDRIP/1999/DOC.1
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